Even with some adjustments due to the pandemic, the Grammys, hosted by Trevor Noah at Staples Center on March 14, were nothing less than showstopping. Whether you did or didn’t catch it, here’s a recap of who won which awards and how the performances went.
The show started off with the sweet sounds of Harry Styles’ hit song “Watermelon Sugar,” from his double platinum album “Fine Line”. The song was also nominated for best pop solo performance. Styles wore a leather jacket paired with matching pants and an iconic feathery green boa.
As the lights dimmed, the camera turned to Billie Eilish atop a car sinking into water, and her brother FINNEAS standing behind her on a dock. She sported her trademark neon green and black hair along with a jeweled headdress. Together, they performed “everything i wanted,” which was nominated for three different awards.
The band HAIM took the stage next, rocking out to “The Steps” with an accompaniment of drums and guitars. The three sisters, Este, Danielle and Alana Haim ended the show’s opening segment with a bang.
After the performances concluded, pop singer Lizzo stepped up to the stage to announce the winner for Best New Artist. Her accidental cursing and struggle opening the envelope containing the winner’s name earned her laughs from the attendees as Lizzo called Megan Thee Stallion to the stage. In her acceptance speech, Megan gave a supportive shout out to all the other singers who were nominated, saying that they were “so amazing.”
Back indoors at the stage, the Black Pumas performed “Colors.” The Texas-based soul band was nominated for three awards, however, unfortunately didn’t end up winning any.
The lights dimmed, and a spotlight shone upon rappers DaBaby and Roddy Ricch, a violinist, and a gospel choir performing a dramatic rendition of “ROCKSTAR.” The combination may have seemed discordant, but the interpretation worked well. One of the most notable accessories of the night was definitely the pair of bedazzled gloves DaBaby wore as he conducted the choir.
Noah then introduced Bad Bunny, who had been nominated for two awards, and he performed “Dákiti” with Jhay Cortez. The duo, followed by cameras in a futuristic, neon lighted stage, wore silver metallic jackets and pants along with a pair of sunglasses.
The stage opened up on Dua Lipa, wearing a shimmery magenta dress against a pastel purple background. She sang a mashup of her hit songs “Levitating” and “Don’t Stop Now” as we received a surprise reappearance from DaBaby. The transition between songs prompted a costume change from Dua Lipa as she descended a flight of stairs from offstage. We were also treated to a seconds-long glimpse of Bad Bunny, Cortez and Noah sitting down, happily bobbing their heads to the beat of her songs.
After Dua Lipa’s performance, Noah introduced the debut performance of Silk Sonic, a band made up of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak. Their disco-esque outfits during their singing of “Leave the Door Open” gave off a 1970’s feel.
Noah took the stage once again to recognize the independent music venues struggling as a result of the pandemic. The Station Inn, a listening room in Nashville, then presented the next award for Best Country Album. Miranda Lambert graciously accepted this award for her popular album, “Wildcard”.
The cameras opened up on Taylor Swift, who lay on a mossy roof of a cozy cabin amidst a forest straight out of a fairytale, wearing a flowy sapphire and gold dress. She sang “cardigan” from her album “folklore”. As the lights inside of the cabin turned on, Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner then joined her in the songs “august” and “willow.”
Another music venue, The Troubadour in Los Angeles, announced Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar” as the winner for the next category, Best Pop Solo Performance. He accepted the award modestly while wearing a blazer similar to Cher’s iconic yellow plaid outfit from “Clueless” and this time, with a purple boa.
Up next were a series of performances “In Memoriam” of those who had passed away the previous year. Silk Sonic made a tribute to Little Richard for the songs, “Long Tall Sally” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” Lionel Richie sang “Lady” for Kenny Rogers, Brandi Carlile gave a heartfelt tribute for John Prine’s “I Remember Everything” and Chris Martin played the piano while Brittany Howard sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in honor of Gerry Marsden.
Mickey Guyton performed “Black like Me,” and made history as the first Black woman nominated for any country music category. After her, Miranda Lambert sang her song “Bluebird,” and she was followed by John Mayer and Maren Morris singing “The Bones.”
Noah presented the next category for Song of the Year. H.E.R.’s “I Can’t Breathe” won, and she gratefully accepted the award and praised the other nominations. “I didn’t imagine that my fear and my pain would turn into impact and it would possibly turn into change,” she said in her speech.
The following performance was by Megan Thee Stallion, for her songs “Body” and “Savage.” The stage was decked out in a golden 1920’s style, with the dancers dressed as flappers. The lights went out, but the show was far from over. Cardi B took the stage, and was later joined by Megan Thee Stallion, for a very NSFW routine for her songs “Up” and “WAP.” After their performance, the energy level had been revamped, and the excitement built.
As the rest of the evening progressed, the anticipation for the final awards built up. We saw performances from Post Malone, Doja Cat and BTS. Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion took the award for Best Rap Song, Dua Lipa won Best Pop Vocal Album, and Swift’s “folklore” won Album of the Year.
Beyoncé’s win left her with a grand total of 27, making her tied for the most Grammys ever. Finally, Ringo Starr, the former Beatles drummer, announced the last award, Record of the Year. Billie Eilish and her brother FINNEAS accepted the award for their song “everything i wanted.” Billie used the time to say that Megan Thee Stallion deserved the award. She received both positive and negative feedback from fans for this speech.
The Grammys, though different from most years, was a success and viewers loved the colorful sets and positive energy.